White House: Father Kapaun to get Medal of Honor on April 11

The White House issued a news release Monday saying that President Barack Obama will award the medal to members of Kapaun’s family. The release said Ray Kapaun, one of Emil Kapaun’s nephews, and other family members will be present at the White House ceremony.

“Father Emil led by example,” Ray Kapaun said Monday. “His devotion was deep, to his faith, to his country and to the men who were there with him.

“My one regret is that my Dad (Emil Kapaun’s brother, Eugene) didn’t live to see it. But Dad is standing beside Emil right now.”

The news release said “Chaplain Kapaun will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his extraordinary heroism while serving with the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy at Unsan, Korea and as a prisoner of war…”

The Secretary of the Army and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended Kapaun for the Medal of Honor in 2009. Obama called Helen Kapaun, Kapaun’s sister-in-law, in December to tell her he would give Kapaun the award, the family has said.